The Darkest Hour Is Before the Dawn.

It’s always darkest before the dawn.
— Thomas Fuller

Remember the clothing layers, sleeping bag, and emergency bivy that I listed to take up with me in the previous blog? Well... I am glad I brought them up with me, otherwise I would have become a ice sculpture up there. 

After creating my summit portraits and leaving my camera on for a timelapse, I pulled my sleeping bag out and tightly wove it around me like a burrito. Several minutes later, feeling returned to my extremities. I patiently awaited for the sunrise for what seemed like hours. I continued to look up at the night sky and watched slowly as each one disappeared one by one until there was only one—the brightest one of them all. It was a night and day difference when the sun came up. The wind buffered into a cool breeze, and where there was light, you could gather warmth. I drew inspiration from how solar panels are angled to most efficiently collect the suns energy, and I adjusted my body accordingly. I waited patiently like this until I saw the next hiker arrive.

Chipotle, a hiker who I had recently met along the tail end of the 100 Mile Wilderness was the first hiker of the day I observed to conclude his journey on the A.T. Watching the relief, joy, and melting pot of so many other emotions was such a powerful moment for myself as well. These are the moments that I love snapping the most; the outspoken beauty.

Chipotle Summit.

We Brewed Victory Hot Chocolate Too.

Minute by minute, it became increasingly warmer—and it warmed our spirits each time we saw another hiker complete their long journey. By noon time, most of the day hikers had already arrived making the summit crowded. I knew it was finally time to go, and I bid Baxter Peak farewell with a promise to return one day. So I started making my way down towards Abol Trail. 

Along the way I met a fairy. Her name is Delicious. She has outspoken beauty written all over her. 

Shortly after my fairy encounter, I came upon this glorious view towards the south from the top of Abol Trail. There were countless brilliant shades of autumn in the forest canopies below. I marinated in this view for almost an hour. A journey this beautiful, simply cannot be rushed.

A journey this beautiful, simply cannot be rushed.

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